What can my parents do if my late brother’s wife will not give back things that he borrowed from them?

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What can my parents do if my late brother’s wife will not give back things that he borrowed from them?

My brother was involved in a work related accident 4 months ago; he passed away due to the accident. Since then his wife will not give my parents back some of there stuff that my brother borrowed before his accident. The things are some tools and a gun and all of our family pictures for both sides of the family that was passed down through the years. They have no monetary value or no emotional value to her either. But to my parents they mean the world to. Is there anything that can be done. It’s just hard to see my parents grieving so bad and his wife is making is so much harder than it needs to be.

Asked on January 26, 2015 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The only thing your parents can do is to sue her (the wife) for the return of these things. To win, they would have to be able to prove, such as through testimony, that these items were loans, not gifts--since if there were gifst to your late brother, they cannot get them back (gifts, once given, belong to the recipient). A lawsuit like this could ber very acrimonius, so it's not something entered into lightly.


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